My first book came out in December 2001, a Harlequin Duets. It
got fabulous reviews and I was all aquiver with excitement. My
career was off to a great start! My second book debuted in January
2002, a Berkley Seduction. It got great reviews and I still sell
a couple of hundred electronic copies annually. My third, fourth,
fifth, six, seventh, and eighth books were published by Harlequin
Temptation. Great reviews, they’re still being reprinted
in several foreign countries. So what do Harlequin Duets, Berkley
Seduction, and Harlequin Temptation have in common? They’re
all dead imprints (AKA ‘lines’), kicking up daisies
in that great book wasteland in the sky. I don’t feel personally
responsible anymore; it took several years to get over the pressing
guilt, but I’ve moved on – to Harlequin Blaze (knock
wood, all you Blaze writers).
You’d think my psyche would be wounded, trampled under the
evil auspices of the publishing business, but ha, I’m a mother
of two. My psyche is just fine, thank you very much. As an author,
you have to be tough, you have to be prepared, you have to realize
that too many variables are out of an author’s control. But
it’s harder than you think.
When I started writing for Temptation, I didn’t believe
that I could write for Blaze. I told my editor that Blazes were
about nipple rings and washing-machine sex. I couldn’t write
that. I write what I write what I write, and I didn’t think
it was Blazey-enough. However, my editor at Harlequin had more
confidence in me than me. I proposed a series, Blaze bought it,
and voila, here I am with three Blazes hitting the shelves this
spring, and believe it not, all the reviewers are talking about
how hot and steamy they are. Which just goes to show you that there
are times when you have to tell the little voice inside you to
shut the heck up, and you sit down and write.
Lines or imprints will come and go. Jennifer Crusie wrote for
Harlequin Temptation, Suzanne Brockmann wrote for Meteor Kismet,
Nora Roberts wrote for Silhouette Intimate Moments. The lines go,
the authors remain.
I’ll remain, too. I think Blaze will survive a good bit
longer, and when it retires to the great book wasteland in the
sky, I’ll find a new spot, because, as God as my witness,
I’ll probably be dead-lined again.